The History of Gambling in Australia

Australia has a long and interesting history of gambling. The first official Australian horse race, for example, took place in New South Wales in 1810 at Sydney’s Hyde Park. Gambling has always been a part of Australian life and Aussies are very enthusiastic gamblers, with a very high social acceptance of gambling. As a result, most forms of gambling in Australia are legal and have become part of our daily lives, whether it be the hotels, casinos, bookmakers or even the local TAB down the street.

Australian gambling history is full of interesting characters and celebrities who love to gamble and as such gambling has become a central part of Australian way of life.

The Early Origins of Gambling in Australia

Gambling may have been part of Australian lives for thousands of years but it was notably popular with the early European settlers who brought European gambling to Australian shores hundreds of years ago. Since the introduction of horse-racing more than 100 years ago, Australians have gambled on lotteries, dog racing, harness racing and other forms of gambling including Jai Alai – a type of ball sport.

In 1953 the first slot machine business in Australia was started up by a company called Aristocrat and the very first game was called the Clubman, designed by avid gambling fan Joe Heywood. Pokies were a massive hit and remain unchanged for decades until some bright spark finally decided to install lights in the machines, making them even more entertaining. The early pokies were simple mechanical affairs with a lever that was pulled to get the reels spinning.

The Introduction of Video Slots

The 1980s saw a massive breakthrough in technology with the computer screen being introduced to casinos and so birth was given to the first video slots. The video slot was the first major leap forward in gambling technology and became hugely popular.

The games now had 5 reels instead of only 3 and this gave players a lot more chances to win with bonus features such as free spins and a gamble bet within the game itself.

The Rise of Poker

Poker became very popular when several Aussie states legalised video poker machines in pubs in the 1990s. You will find video poker machines and video slots in every casino in Australia, even to this day.

Online Pokies make their Debut

Technology leaped forward with the growth of the Internet in the 1990s and it did not take long for the first online casinos to arise. Online pokies became massively popular with fantastic games developed by gaming pioneer Microgaming. Australian-style pokies were introduced to play on your computer, and millions of Aussies started playing casino games for real money at home.

Mobile Pokies and Beyond

Now that everyone is glued to their smartphones casino games have entered the mobile market and mobile pokies are the number one trend in the gambling industry. The future growth of technology is assured and wherever it leads to next, casino games will be on the cutting edge of technology so that you, the Australian player, has the best possible casino game experience. will be there to review and recommend the top sites and games every step of the way.